Friday, April 1, 2011

Late night Friday

I had a full day today of doing ecotours for two school groups. This is kind of a part time job in which I get to talk to school groups about beach and marsh ecology and the critters that live in those habitats. It isn't about the pay but just the fun of being outside at one of my favorite islands and talking about marine science.

I have been a researcher all my career. I have taught graduate school courses and had graduate students that I mentored. So dealing with middle and high school groups is a new thing for me.

I enjoy the interaction with most of the kids. The middle school groups are the most interesting. The younger grades are really into the whole experience for the most part. I had two groups of 50+ middle schoolers today. They were filled with questions, excited to be on the beach and interested in talking about what they found.

One of the teachers told me that some of these kids had never been to the ocean before and some had never been out of their home city. That made me feel a lot of gratitude for being able to be part of such an exciting experience for them. Can you imagine that some were seeing the ocean for the first time? What a powerful thing to be part of!

So I have had a full day. I am grateful to be off my feet now and not having to walk another mile today. But most importantly, I am grateful for having an opportunity to experience the wonderment of these children.

There is so much wonder in this world if we stop to see. And the things that I may take for granted because they are familiar can be a source of great inspiration for those who are seeing them for the first time. I am glad to be reminded today that I can see things with fresh eyes, sometimes blurred with tears of gratitude and renewed hope for mankind.


  1. How wonderful to see the ocean, again for the first time through the eyes of a child. Isn't that awesome? I could feel it from the way you wrote about it. Yes!

  2. Yes, Syd. It is great to see the "sense of wonder" in a child. I'm a Staff Officer in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. We give classes on boating safety, navigation and the ocean.

  3. Sounds like a fun day.
    I'm reminded of all the places I've been blessed to see and experience around the world.


  4. I can't even remember the first time I saw the ocean, but I'm from Chicago and Lake Michigan is pretty darn big. I think when you show someone something they've never seen it must feel like looking at it new again, too. Love the way you wrote about it.

  5. nothing like working with kids to remind up of that cool that you do this as well syd...great stuff!

  6. What a neat thing to be able to do. For a while, I thought about majoring in Environmental Science, because I loved, LOVED aquatic ecology. Then, of course, things got derailed and I went a different route. It is neat to hear stories of what my life could have been like, though. ;)

  7. Sound pretty close to perfect! I wanted to hear the ocean one last time before I went deaf - life unfortunately had other plans. I think I'll hear her in a whole different way now, with my heart. (Hugs)Indigo

  8. It is good to have a fresh perspective. Kid do that they get so excited. Sounds like fun every once in awhile.

  9. Syd - that sounds like an awesome job! I wish we lived near you, I would absolutely hire you, or crash one of the tours, for my own kids.

    As much as we love the beach, I know my kids would truly enjoy an experience like that. They love when they learn about anything and everything that has to do with the water. Myself, as much as I love it, don't have very much marine biology knowledge to teach them.

    The extent of my teaching goes like this: "See those? THOSE are minnows!"

    And would you believe my own kids have never seen the ocean? Living on a Bay in the Great Lakes in not nearly the same thing. We are grateful to be constantly near the water, of course, but I would love to show them the ocean. Right now, they think Lake Huron is the *biggest ocean ever*.

    You are lucky. But I know you know that.

  10. One thing I always have and will treasure is when my children would discover things for the first time. Thinking about it warms my heart.

    How great for those kids and you.

    Great post Syd.

  11. Man, what a day it's been here too, for tears of gratitude. How AWESOME that you get to be part of a child's first experience with the ocean. Yes on all of this.

  12. Yes! I understand your experience with the kids. Been there. Their interest is stimulating. And how glorious it feels to share a passion with a kid. I have felt as if I've touched the growing core of a human being.

  13. It is so nice to hear you speak from the heart and to know how much you care about other people.

  14. The first time my son saw the ocean he growled at it. I think he was scared of the noise and was trying to frighten it away. He was really little, maybe around 2, or younger. I don't remember exactly. But I think he's over the fear now,since he takes planes over the ocean all the time (he's a lot older now). I grew up near the ocean and used to go to the beach every weekend and sometimes after school. I've worked at the beach, too and I agree it's a lot of fun. I live far away from the ocean now but I feel like I'm there reading all these posts. Thanks everyone. I feel more peaceful now.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.